IN A MATCH where Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick, Barcelona scored six and former Celtic striker John Guidetti netted against the Catalans, there would be no shortage of talking points.
However, it was the nature of former Liverpool favourite Suarez’s third goal that caught people’s attention.
With Barca leading 3-1 with just over ten minutes remaining in their La Liga clash against Celta Vigo, and Suarez having already netted a double, the Blaugranas were awarded a penalty kick.
Designated penalty-taker Messi stepped up to take the penalty but instead of burying it beyond Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez, the Argentinian passed the ball forward and to the side, allowing Suarez to knock the ball into the back of the net to complete his hat-trick.
Although somewhat cheeky, the move is entirely legal within football:
• The penalty-taker must kick the ball forward
• The penalty-taker cannot play the ball a second time until it has touched another player
• The ball is considered to be in play when it is kicked and moves forward
The move brought to mind a similar effort from Johan Cruyff and Jesper Olsen during an Ajax match against Helmond Sport in 1982. Cruyff took the penalty, passed it to the left to Olsen, who then knocked it across the six yard box for the Dutch master to tap the ball into an empty net.
Fair enough when you’re 5-0 up, as Ajax were, but a more recent attempt by Arsenal during a match against Manchester City in 2005, when Robert Pires tried a similar trick with compatriot Thierry Henry at 1-0, only for Pires to mis-hit the ball allowing the City defence to clear the ball. Pires had already scored one penalty in the match, which Arsenal went on to win 1-0.
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